I don’t know what is more inspiring. The fact my husband’s grandma turned 100 this July or the conversation I had with Ryan’s mom about the life of our century old sweetheart. She was born in July of 1915 in a small town in Illinois. She married and raised a son and daughter and went on to enjoy her golden years in a retirement community in Mountain Home, Arkansas. I wanted to know more about Evelyn’s life or her lifestyle rather. Was her longevity and good health all genetic? Did Evelyn ever touch a cigarette? What were her favorite past times in her hey day? What made her happy? So after the chillins went to bed, I picked up the phone and had a chat with Jan. She talked, I listened while we went back in time and I got to understand quite clearly why exactly this inspiration has hit the triple digits in years of life.
Jan took me on a journey that started in July 1915, the year Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run, Charlie Chaplin was taking over the big screen, and the first transcontinental telephone call was tested. I can only imagine what the world looks like through Evelyn’s eyes these days. Things like the Charleston have been replaced with Dancing With The Stars and social interaction has been reduced to texting, but the simplicity of life, the pay it forward ideal, the idea that love at any age and the general willingness and desire to be happy is what I see as the reasons this gal is still kicking it right down the road from me today. Evelyn was a small town girl who appreciated the thought behind a homemade gift, understood the value of walking, even if it was briskly on sale days, and believed in gratitude. She chose to be happy and to keep it simple, and, well, read this list of things her daughter says she learned from her. There is a theme. Simplicity and a general appreciation for everything life has to offer. Be kind and eat chocolate. LOL.
And here it is. A beautiful list written by a beautiful daughter of a 100 year old beautiful woman. 100 things she learned from her 100 year old mother.
1. How to walk really fast on sale days.
2. How to crimp the edge of a pie crust.
3. It is ok to eat two desserts.
4. Say “I love you” often.
5. How to shorten clothes.
6. How to be “on time”.
7. To offer a car ride to others.
9. You can find new love at any age.
10. Bring cut flowers in the house.
11. Take pictures on special occasions.
12. Read the ads of the newspaper first.
13. Always read the funnies.
14. If you can see it, you can probably make it.
15. Everything is better with chocolate on top.
16. The right way to clean a hair brush.
17. If the price is right you never need to wear the clothes.
18. No need to wear hose in warm weather.
19. Walking is good for your health.
20. If it is on sale, chances are it will fit.
22. You can never have too many pens.
23. You can never have too many pencils.
24. You are lucky.
25. Send thank you notes promptly.
26. How to knit.
27. How to embroider.
28. How to crochet.
29. How to hide a zipper.
30. How to do laundry correctly.
31. How to press a shirt.
32. How to do the Charleston.
34. How to draw a tree stump.
35. Do your chores early, chances are you won’t feel like doing them later.
36. Turn off lights.
37. Keep the A/C on high in the summer.
38. Always take your shoes off in the house.
39. How to make curtains.
40. Put up the Christmas tree early.
41. Don’t leave your tree up too long.
42. How to thread a needle
43. How to block a sweater.
44. Have your husband grill the meat.
45. Men can vacuum too.
46. Men always clean the gutters.
47. How to curl ribbon.
48. How to wrap a present.
50. Watch TV to learn the latest fashion trends.
51. You don’t have to cook your entire life.
52. If your rings are on too tight perhaps you have gained weight.
53. A girl can never have too many shoes.
54. You don’t NEED it to need to buy it.
55. Visit your mom.
56. You can’t tell adult children what to do.
57. How to make a bunny cut out cake.
58. How to fry chicken.
59. Offer to babysit for grandchildren.
60. It’s ok to nap on Sundays.
61. Handmade gifts are the best.
62. Play bingo, it is a fun way to be social.
63. Early church services are shorter.
64. It is warmer if you stand on the heat register.
65. How to make a pom pom.
66. How to double a recipe.
67. You don’t have to follow a recipe exactly.
68. If it doesn’t show, you don’t have to tell.
69. Help your neighbor.
70. Take food to your neighbor.
71. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
72. Embrace what is new.
73. Just because you have a stove, doesn’t mean you need to use it.
74. Be kind to animals.
75. One can overcome great losses.
76. You can freeze cake.
77. You can freeze milk.
78. You can freeze nuts.
79. Use cold water on chocolate spills.
80. Spot clean your clothes right away.
81. It is never too hot to serve chili.
82. A car should be red.
83. Send birthday cards.
84. Don’t go around rail road crossings.
85. Waking up happy is a choice.
86. Birds can talk.
87. Always finish what you start.
88. How to make a carrot curl.
89. To always use the washroom before you leave the house.
90. You can be bright and attractive at 90 and beyond.
91. Leaving a home and friends to be close to your children can be the best choice at a certain age.
92. Accept assistance as needed.
93. Always thank those that provide assistance.
94. Nail polish can be worn at any age.
95. Greet those who visit you with a smile.
96. Attend all activities at your assisted living center even if you only observe.
97. There is a joy in the beauty of nature just outside your window.
98. Celebrate birthdays early and often.
99. Buying new clothes never gets old .
100. Know you are loved, because you are.
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